Cincinnati Reds: Looking ahead to Ohio Cup against the Indians

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

In the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitcher Luis Castillo was roughed up early with home-runs in an eventual 9-2 loss. Taking two out of three from Arizona, the Cincinnati Reds look onward to the next installment in the coveted Ohio Cup.

In a game that the Cincinnati Reds came within one, the early deficit on a home-run by Daniel Descalso proved too much for the team to overcome in their sweep attempt of the Diamondbacks. Aside from runs batted in by Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto, reliever Keury Mella gave up four runs in the top of the ninth, blowing any chance for a comeback. Doing what most didn’t expect, they did, however, take the series overall 2-1 heading into their next series against a familiar opponent.

Which Homer will we see tonight?

Tonight’s match-up features Homer Bailey against Mike Clevinger in a pivotal interleague series with our in-state foe. Bailey’s last start against the New York Mets didn’t go as planned, with Bailey allowing five runs on 11 hits through only three innings.

Things aren’t going to get any easier for Bailey though, as slugger Jose Ramirez leads a powerful offense into Great American. The Indians though are without slugger and ex-Red Edwin Encarnacion, so look for them to strike early and get guys on base.

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With the offense, we have seen the spark that Votto provides this team, and they are going to need it since it’s scarce when Bailey starts. Clevinger relies on his four seam fastball over half of the time with his slider the following preference. He has a nasty curve that makes special appearances as well. With his arsenal of pitches, most of his strikeouts happen in the bottom right corner of the zone, which also happens to be where his opponents batting average is .114.

Right-handed advantage

Clevinger’s stuff proves especially difficult against left-handed batters who chase down and away, which is why right handed batters have more success against him. Look for guys like Eugenio Suarez, Phillip Ervin, and Curt Casali (if he gets at-bats) to get on base and do damage.

With the ball having the ability to come across the plate and hang to that right corner, look for the ball to be pulled down the left side of the field. If this lineup can be disciplined enough to not chase down and away, they can give some run support to Bailey, hoping that he does his part in preventing early inning runs.

The Ohio Cup continued

The Reds won the previous series against the Indians this season. Back in July, Cincinnati took two of three from Cleveland despite the fact they were outscored in the series 18-28, with the Indians scoring 19 runs in the series finale. The Reds’ pitchers surrendered 17 runs in the first 4 innings of that game.

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Following tonight’s game, the Reds have their best starters, Sal Ramano and Anthony Desclafani the following games against Indians’ ace Corey Kluber and Shane (not Justin) Bieber. The Reds can make a statement in the Ohio Cup rivalry and on this homestand, with the ability to make it 5-1. Game times are 7:10 pm both days, with an off day on Thursday.